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Light rail news roundup 25th March 2021

In this weeks light rail news – congratulations to a World Cup winner, NET complete £3.5m Incentro refurbishment, report praises Metrolink extension, £6.8bn plan to revitalise transport in the North East, LUAS urges customer donations on Daffodil Day and Seaton Tramway confirm reopening plans.

A further £7.5 million in emergency funding for Edinburgh Trams and Glasgow Subway has been welcomed by UKTram.

The latest tranche of funding from Transport Scotland was announced this week and George Lowder, Chair of UKTram, says it will help to maintain vital services as operators continue to feel the financial impacts of the pandemic.

You can read our full response the announcement here. News of additional funding from the Department of Transport, announced last weekend, for networks in England can be found here.

Post-pandemic promotion

Planning for a return of customers following the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions is well underway say marketing and customer service professionals from across the light rail sector.

However, drawing up detailed plans remains difficult due to uncertainties surrounding the levels of restrictions that will still be in place over the summer months, and potential long-term changes in travel patterns.

These challenges proved the hot topic of discussion during the latest online meeting of the UKTram Marketing, Communications and Customer Services Group and you can read the full story here.

World cup winner

Congratulations to the team at Pre Metro Operations Ltd after the Stourbridge Shuttle was crowned winner in the World Cup of Trams.

Following three weeks of intense competition that saw more than 16,500 votes cast, the shuttle – also winner in the best tram half of the cup draw – fought off tough competition from the winner of the best stop rounds, West Midlands Metro’s Library, to secure the overall title and you can read more here.

In other light rail news:

NET

Nottingham’s tram network has celebrated the successful completion of a £3.5 million refurbishment programme that’s seen the transformation of its original fleet of Incentro vehicles

The final tram to receive the comprehensive makeover left NET’s Wilkinson Street depot this week marking the end of a project that will help future-proof the network.

This extensive refurbishment project has already delivered significant benefits for customers, particularly those with disabilities and you can read all about it here.

Manchester Metrolink

A new report has shown how Metrolink has boosted residents’ access to employment, education and healthcare while contributing significantly to reductions in car journeys and improved air quality.

These benefits are among the findings contained within a detailed monitoring and evaluation report of Metrolink’s ‘phase 3’ expansion project.

The £1.5bn programme brought new lines through dozens of local communities, with extensions to Rochdale via Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, East Didsbury and Manchester Airport and the full story can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A £6.8bn plan to revitalise regional transport, delivering a green transport revolution for the North East has been approved by the region’s Joint Transport Committee.

Last week the Committee signed off the ambitious plan that sets out a region-wide proposal for strategic transport investment up to 2035.

Schemes include new bus and Metro stations, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, enhancing cycling and walking provision across the region. It also includes the reopening of the Leamside Line in full and you can find out more here.

Luas

Customers are being urged to support The Irish Cancer Society’s annual Daffodil Day on Friday, March 26 by making donations online.

In the days leading up to Daffodil Day, Luas staff have been wearing daffodil pins to show support for those who are going through, have experienced, or have lost a loved one to cancer, including many of their own colleagues, friends, and loved ones.

A Shave or Dye Challenge has been taken on by 23 staff from Transdev, Operator of Luas, to raise funds for the charity and the full story can be found here.

Heritage

Seaton Tramway has confirmed its plans to re-open on April 12, subject to lifting of government restrictions.

The successful Covid safe response which was put in place in 2020 will continue when the tramway re-opens, in line with Government guidelines. Capacity on trams will be reduced and sanitising stations will be present at all entrances and exits.

The Rule of 6 will be in place until at least June 21 and the tramway’s full covid response can be found here.

To be included in the next round-up, or the Members News section of the website, send your press releases to jamie.swift@uktram.org.

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